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In case you didn’t notice, Tulsi Gabbard filed Bill 3652 (“Victory for Hemp” Act) to get the departments of the federal government to analyze the benefits of industrial hemp for the United States. And there are many. The bill would mandate research into everything from the use of hemp food products for public school lunches to the potential therapeutic value of the crop’s extracts for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to even its ability to clear contaminants from nuclear sites.

tulsi promotes hemp

The legislation also focuses on research into the plant as an alternative to plastics and its ability to prevent soil erosion. And it would establish grant programs to develop studies on hemp’s potential as a domestic agricultural commodity and to create tools to protect farms growing it. But for reasons inexplicable, she failed to mention the largest benefit – that hemp draws more CO2 from the atmosphere than any other plant, including trees.

She did well in the debates, and her “Victory for Hemp” bill may turn out to be a way of getting Democratic progressives together.

Personally, I think that this last point is one which progressives should emphasize by having hemp production become the centerpiece of their climate change fight. This would draw farmers into the Democratic Party, not to mention all of the voters concerned with climate change.

The struggle against climate change is a fight to preserve the planet. It is the first of many fights that one can foresee with that aim. After all, does the human race really have any home other than the earth (and possibly the moon and one of the nearby planets)?

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There are still some people who believe that someday humans will learn how to travel faster than the speed of light and thus travel out to the stars. Others do not. “It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off." Woody Allen, Side Effects (Einstein apparently agrees with Woody, by the way). But should light speed travel never happen, we really are stuck on the Planet Earth and in our solar system, at least for the foreseeable future. In the long run, of course, the sun will die, and the planets will die with it. So anyone interested in the human race had better concentrate on finding a way to travel elsewhere. This takes cooperation, effort, and brilliance.

In the meantime, however, we need to preserve the planet and find leaders and plans to do this. Tulsi Gabbard may turn out to be someone important in this effort. She did well in the debates, and her “Victory for Hemp” bill may turn out to be a way of getting Democratic progressives together. My hope is that Senators Sanders and Warren will co-sponsor the bill and turn it into part of the fight against climate change.

(This may seem unimportant when measured against the ultimate fate of the human race. But we need to take practical steps to preserve the species to which we belong.)

In the short run, Americans need to become more conscious of the need to work for the benefit of the entire human race. We need to cast aside a president who tweets things like his exhorting four new Democratic members of Congress to “go back” to the “corrupt” countries he said they are from. That doesn’t preserve our species but seeks to divide us. We can have no more of that. We need to adopt a principle that shows our love for humanity. “Love Thy Neighbor” must become our mantra.

michael hertz

Michael T. Hertz